Cunard’s Lusitania Remembered cruise pays tribute to those lost in disaster 100 years ago with ceremony in Cobh, Ireland
Relatives of those who died and who survived the sinking of Lusitania 100 years ago were among those gathered on board Cunard’s Queen Victoria for a special ceremony off the Old Head of Kinsale near Cobh in Ireland.
In the early hours of Thursday 7 May the ship paused over the site of the Lusitania wreck and four wreaths were cast into the sea before dawn to mark the 1,195 lives that were lost.
The first was thrown into the waves by Commodore of the fleet and Master of Queen Victoria Christopher Rynd to represent the 401 officers and crew who perished, followed by Chairman of Cunard David Dingle, for the shipping company.
Third to lay a wreath was 2nd engineer George Harrison, whose great-grandfather was working in Lusitania’s engine room at the time the ship was torpedoed, representing those who worked on board.
The final wreath was cast by Alan Gibson, who lost his great uncle, one of Queen Victoria’s numerous passengers who had relatives who sailed on Lusitania’s fateful last voyage.
Other relatives clutched fresh flowers, ready to throw them into the sea in memory of lost family members or those affected by the sinking. Queen Victoria then added her own tribute to those who perished by sounding a blast on the ship’s whistle or foghorn.
Commodore Christopher Rynd said “Both those who died and those who survived the Lusitania disaster have been in the occasional thoughts of their families over time. But today, 100 years on, we will remember them.”
Commemorations for the 100th anniversary of the loss of the line’s flagship on 7 May 1915 include a memorial service held in Cobh led by the President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins. British Ambassador Dominick Chilcott, US Ambassador Kevin O’Malley and German embassy Charge d’Affaires Wolfram von Heynitz will also attend with thousands of spectators expected to join them.
Queen Victoria‘s Lusitania Remembered cruise sailed from Southampton on 3 May with calls at St Peter Port (Guernsey), Le Havre, Cobh and Dublin before returning to Southampton, with many passengers on board also have family connections to victims and survivors from the disaster.
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